NEW YORK -- Bon-Ton Stores, based in York, Pa., says it is negotiating to purchase the 10-unit Adam, Meldrum & Anderson department store chain, which is based in Buffalo, N.Y.

"We have been having conversations with those folks, but there is no agreement at this point," said Michael Gleim, Bon Ton's senior executive vice president and chief administrative officer. Gleim said AM&A would be a good fit since both companies operate moderate-priced department stores, mostly 80,000 to 100,000 square feet, serving secondary markets. However, unlike Bon-Ton stores, AM&A offers budget merchandise and a broader selection of home goods.

Bon-Ton went public in September 1991 and has been steadily acquiring retail businesses for the past six years.

It purchased the 10-unit Pomeroy's in 1987, and subsequently the two-store Watt & Shand, J.W Rhodes and a Dey Bros. unit.

Keith Alford, chief executive officer of AM&A, could not be reached for comment.

Bon-Ton operates 36 department stores in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland and West Virginia, and has annual sales of $333 million. The AM&A chain operates in New York and has annual sales of about $140 million.

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